I really like 5 Elements, but there were a few problems that while easily fixed might make your stay not as comfortable if you plan to stay more than a night or two.
Five Elements is a HOT but chilled out boutique hostel minutes from Old Town and THE home for backpackers in Dali! Built in 2011 by a backpacker for backpackers, we offer a stylish and comfortable environment where you will connect with other travelers, locals and the staff that we call family.TASTY FOOD: Our restaurant serves homemade breakfast and Western food. Join the Five Elements family during our shared meals at lunch and dinner to try local, traditional Chinese food. Our food is MSG-free.HAVE FUN AND MEET OTHER TRAVELERS: We love to have fun, so hopefully you do too! Events like our X-box and movie nights help you get to know other guests during your stay. We also offer the chance to experience local culture with our Hot Pot Party, Chinese BBQ , homemade dumpling party and a fun day trip to Er Hai Lake to visit villages, taste local food and connect with local people. You can go crazy in the bar or chill out in our garden reading or sharing stories with new friends and old. Our golden retriever, Jinbao will gladly keep you company. Whatever you do, we want you to have FUN!We care about your experience at Five Elements, so we will do our best to make stay as memorable and comfortable as possible. We want to be your Dali family and support your life on the road. Each of us have our own journey, and while they are different, we share a common desire for adventure. These connections bring us together as travelers, making Five Elements a special place for all of us.
We Provide:> Beautiful garden area> Amazing rooftop view and terrace> Bathtub> Free Wi-Fi> Rental mountain bicycle> Western and Chinese style bathrooms> Fresh mountain spring water> Restaurant and Bar> X-box kinect> Facebook access> Discounted tours to the Three Pagodas and Butterfly Spring> Organic Food and no MSG
Area 69 West Gate Village, Dali
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I really like 5 Elements, but there were a few problems that while easily fixed might make your stay not as comfortable if you plan to stay more than a night or two. First, the good things - the location is right next to the Jade Roo/Jade Emu guesthouses outside the city walls and next to the Cangshan mountain range. For those of you looking to avoid sleeping inside of Old Town and all that noise, this is a nice and quiet location. Also, the staff are very friendly and the rooms are large and airy - and nicely decorated! There is wifi access throughout, but really spotty/slow in the rooms.
The things that weren't as excellent - first, there isn't a lot of common space so you spend any time in the common areas sharing couches and tables with anyone else who happens to be there. Depending on what kind of traveler you are, this could be a good thing or a slightly annoying thing. I don't like to meet new people before I've had my first cup of coffee for the day! Also, the bathroom doesn't have anyway to prevent the water from running out of it into the room, so the white tile floor quickly becomes very slippery and very dirty (and was not cleaned in the two days we stayed there).
All in all, I think this hostel shows promise of becoming a great place to stay and just needs to work on providing more common space and also making sure everything is very clean. I would recommend staying here, but wanted to give the pros/cons as I see them so you know what you are getting! I hope this helps the next traveler...
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* The Customer Satisfaction score is based on a combination of ratings from Travellerspoint and external websites. The score of 89% for this property is based on ratings provided by 50 guests.